Culturally Diverse Communities
Australia is a multicultural society. Almost half of the population were either born overseas or have at least one parent born overseas. Australia is also continuing to grow its international business networks. Our largest trading partners include countries such as China and Japan. It would, therefore, make good business sense to welcome employees from culturally diverse backgrounds.
As a culturally and linguistically diverse employee, you have a lot to offer businesses. You can:
- understand Australia’s multicultural consumers
- provide better customer service by using their language and cultural skills
- provide access to new market segments and networks
- expand internationally to overseas markets.
But there are some things that you need to think about when trying to get into the Australian job market, such as overseas qualifications:
For those people with qualifications gained overseas, you may need to accept a job at a lower level than the one you have done in your own country. This will help you to build your Australian work experience and then gain work in your chosen job. For instance, an overseas qualified civil engineer with experience may need to start as an assistant engineer and then work their way up over time to a position as a civil engineer. For some occupations it may be necessary to undertake additional training, to ensure that you have the knowledge required for the Australian work environment. This is particularly necessary where there is legal difference between the country where you gained your qualification and Australia.
You should also note that although you may have obtained a degree in your country of origin, this may be recognised at a lower level here in Australia. To gain employment in your chosen occupation in Australia, you may need to undertake more study to reach the required educational level. It is often a good idea to try to find similar work at a lower occupational level whilst you are undertaking your additional studies. This may give you an advantage over applicants who only hold the educational qualification, as you will also have relevant Australian work experience.
All overseas qualified professionals and tradespeople need to have their qualifications recognised in Australia to be able to work in that field. However, recognition alone may not be enough to get your first job. Visit the Department of Education and Training website to find out more about getting your skills assessed
Employment or training websites for specifically aimed at culturally diverse individuals
AMES Australia specialised employment services can help you find the right job. AMES work with the Department of Employment through the jobactive initiative. This means eligible migrants and refugees can receive services for free.
ARA Jobs provides services under the Federal Government’s jobactive initiative. They offer specialist employment and training services to culturally diverse people and are dedicated to assisting clients into employment, especially those who are highly disadvantaged and/or long-term unemployed. They are the only specialist culturally diverse employment service provider in South Australia.
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
– This website provides information for individuals and travellers visiting Australia including: visiting Australia, entering or leaving Australia, life in Australia, visa support, importing or buying from overseas, studying in Australia, working in Australia, bringing your family or partners, refugee and humanitarian, Australian Citizenship and more.
Department of Social Services – Settlement and Multicultural
– The Department of Social Services works to improve the lifetime wellbeing of migrants and refugees settling in Australia by responding to their specific needs, encouraging their independence and participation in the Australian community. They support a productive, harmonious and diverse society for all Australians.
National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters
– Our mission, as outlined in the NAATI Constitution, is to set and maintain high national standards in translating and interpreting to enable the existence of a pool of accredited translators and interpreters responsive to the changing needs and demography of the Australian community.